EHSheesh. The Brooklyn Nets went into Tuesday night's game against the Philadelphia 76ers hoping to make things difficult for Philly as they try to secure the three seed. That didn't happen as Philly cruised to a 26 point victory in front of their home fans. It's almost over, y'all.
The opponent tonight will be the Milwaukee Bucks. They're in the playoffs, but where they'll be seeded is up in the air. They're coming off of a victory against the Boston Celtics on Tuesday. They are currently tied with the Washington Wizards for seventh in the East (they split the season series) and one half game behind Miami for sixth.
The game also has draft implications for the Nets. When the Nets traded Tyler Zeller for Rashad Vaughn and a second rounder with protections, it was thought the second rounder would convey in 2020. But the Bucks mediocre record since the trade has put the pick in play for this year’s Draft. A win tonight and the Nets would likely seal the deal.
Where to follow the game
YES Network on TV. WCBS 880 AM on radio. Tip off after 8 PM.
Isaiah Whitehead underwent wrist surgery and will be on the mend for the next couple of months. Allen Crabbe was under the weather and missed Tuesday's game. He should be back tonight. DeMarre Carroll is out with a strained left hip.
Malcolm Brogdon has been working his way back from a partial tear in his quadrieps tendon, but he won't be playing tonight.
Here's something interesting. According to Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post, all signs point to Jabari Parker and the Bucks parting ways in free agency. It would be a disappointing end to the former lottery pick's time in Milwaukee. When Parker does hit free agency this summer, he'll draw a decent amount of interest. He's still young and has shown an incredible amount of resillience so far in his career. He's been coming off of the bench, but if the game is close late, we'll see him on the court.
The point guard matchup should be interesting. Since his escape from Phoenix early in the season, Eric Bledsoe has done a quality job running Milwaukee's attack. He's most effective when he's driving to the basket and finishing at the rim. For D'Angelo Russell, keeping Bledsoe on the perimeter will be critical. Every day is a learning opportunity for Russell and now that his first year in Brooklyn is wrapping up, there are some things he can take with him into the summer.
Player to watch: Giannis Antetokuonmpo
The league might belong to the Greek Freak pretty soon. Giannis has gotten better each year he's been in the NBA and has played like a top 10 player this season. He's fourth in the league in scoring this season, and he's done it without much of a three point shot. He manages to wreak havoc from the high post and in, and his height allows him to tower over practically everyone who matches up with him.
With Carroll out, the Nets have one less wing defender to hassle Giannis. I'm assuming Joe Harris will get the start in his place, and his three point shooting should help Brooklyn hang in. Milwaukee allows teams to shoot 37.1 percent from three point range, sixth highest in the league (Brooklyn isn't much better). If Harris can get loose from deep, he'll help the Nets avoid the season sweep.
From the Vault
Ray Allen found out over the weekend that he'll be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame this fall. With that in mind, let's revisit one of his great moments in Milwaukee.
More reading: Brew Hoop
- Brooklyn Nets Game Notes - Brooklyn Nets
- Milwaukee Bucks Game Notes - Milwaukee Bucks
- Bucks host Nets with playoff spot secured - STATS/TSX
- D’Angelo Russell knows he has to step it up next year - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Nets’ D’Angelo Russell, Jahlil Okafor still working on second chances - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Jabari Parker is making a big impact with an eye on the playoffs and his future - Mike Velasquez - Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
- Dante Cunningham: The Journeyman - David Yapkowitz - Basketball Insiders